Press Release

New technologies: one in two accept the risks

16 April 2018

  • forsa survey on new technologies commissioned by ZEISS
  • Overwhelmingly positive attitude to innovations
  • Reticence toward developments where loss of control is feared
  • ZEISS Symposium about trends and new scientific findings in quantum technologies
  • ZEISS Research Award goes to researchers from Lausanne and Geneva
Oberkochen, Germany | 16 April 2018 | Corporate News
Almost half of people in Germany are prepared to take risks when it comes to getting technical innovations off the ground. Something of a pattern emerges in opinions regarding the advancement of applications, such as through quantum technology. 99 percent of people believe that progress is needed in targeted cancer treatment. Nevertheless, 72 percent don’t want to see improvements in the technology of self-driving cars.
This was the result of a representative survey conducted in March by Berlin-based opinion research institute forsa among 1,004 14-year-olds in Germany. It looked at how people in Germany view new technologies, and the risk-taking associated with these. ZEISS commissioned the survey in the run-up to the ZEISS Symposium “Optics in the Quantum World.” At the Symposium on 18 April, international experts from industry and science will discuss trends and new scientific findings in quantum technologies.

Overwhelmingly positive attitude to innovations

The study shows that there are clear distinctions as concerns how people in Germany regard risk-taking when it comes to technical innovations. It was found that young and educated people are particularly more open to it. 64 percent of high school and university graduates said they would be prepared to accept the associated risks. Only 40 percent of people aged 60 and over agree with this, whereas 60 percent of 14- to 44-year-olds share this enthusiasm for innovations.

“I believe this forsa survey refutes the perceived fundamental reluctance among people in Germany to welcome technological innovations,” says Dr. Ulrich Simon, Head of Research & Technology at the ZEISS Group. The approval ratings are high in many high-tech fields of application. “However, in the areas where people fear a loss of control, they are rather reserved,” adds Simon. ZEISS therefore sees it as one of its main duties to discuss tomorrow’s technologies with industry and science and persuade even more people of the merits of responsible progress and necessary technical innovations.

The second ZEISS Symposium, “Optics in the Quantum World,” held on 18 April once again offers a forum for scientists and company representatives from around the world to discuss which research fields are a top priority.

The topics will include quantum computers, quantum communication and quantum sensors. The focus will be on the interplay between emerging applications and the technologies behind them. Three keynote speeches from renowned researchers will be followed by in-depth workshops. The results will be summarized for the entire group and will be published after the Symposium as a white paper on the ZEISS website.

Presentation of the ZEISS Research Award to renowned scientists from Switzerland

The winners of the ZEISS Research Award will receive their accolades on the evening of 18 April. This year, the award will go to Tobias Kippenberg, Professor at the Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Jean-Pierre Wolf, Professor at the Biophotonics Institute at the University of Geneva. The Ernst Abbe Fund in the Donors’ Association of the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany will honor three young researchers with the Carl Zeiss Award for Young Researchers.

The latest forsa survey and the quantum symposium are the beginning of the “Bildung Neu Denken” initiative that ZEISS launched in 2018. Other related events will be held almost every month, They include the MINT festival in Jena and the Robotic Innovation Challenge at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). More information about the initiative can be found on a dedicated website.


Further information on the ZEISS Symposium and the ZEISS Research Award:

Another press release on the Symposium and presentation of awards will follow after the event
Press contact Jörg Nitschke

Head of Corporate Brand, Communications and Public Affairs


ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. The ZEISS Group develops, produces and distributes measuring technology, microscopes, medical technology, eyeglass lenses, camera and cinema lenses, binoculars and semiconductor manufacturing equipment. With its solutions, the company constantly advances the world of optics and helps shape technological progress. ZEISS is divided up into the four segments Research & Quality Technology, Medical Technology, Vision Care/Consumer Products and Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology. The ZEISS Group is represented in more than 40 countries and has over 50 sales and service locations, more than 30 manufacturing sites and about 25 research and development centers around the globe.

In fiscal year 2016/17 the company generated revenue approximating €5.3 billion with around 27,000 employees. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. Carl Zeiss AG is the strategic management holding company that manages the ZEISS Group. The company is wholly owned by the Carl Zeiss Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation).

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